The 2013-14 school year approaches quickly. Find out where the top graduating seniors have decided to begin their college careers and keep track of the established players transferring to new universities, as well as those furthering their careers on the pro circuit.
Amanda Anderson, a former University of Arkansas middle blocker, has signed with a Danish professional team. She will begin practice with the Brøndby Volleyball Klub in Copenhagen, Denmark, in August. Originally from Euless, Texas, Anderson earned her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology in three years, and then went on to earn a master’s degree in recreation and sports management.
Reigning national champs University of Texas signed three top recruits to their 2013 squad. Chloe Collins, a setter from Cypress, Texas, competed on the U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team in 2011. This winter, she graduated from high school early, and enrolled at Texas for the spring semester, allowing her to play with the Longhorns for the spring season. Middle blocker Chiaka Ogbogu, the 2013 Texas Gatorade Player of the Year, led her Coppell High School team to back-to-back state championships in 2011 and 2012. Texas head coach Jerritt Elliot has touted her speed, blocking ability, and vertical leap (she touches 10'7"). Pilar Victoria Lopez, an outside hitter from Caguas, Puerto Rico, will also join the Longhorns in 2013. The team captain for the 2013 Puerto Rico Junior National Team, Lopez was named the Class of 2013’s top recruit in all of Puerto Rico.
Laura Larson, a libero out of Lakeville, Minn., will play for the Arizona Wildcats come fall. The 5'6" player accumulated 427 digs in her senior season on the way to helping her team win the state championship. Larson was also captain of the girls’ golf team at Lakeville North High School and plays club for the Fusion Showcase18s team.
Hailing from Riga, Latvia, Liene Mellupe will join the Florida Atlantic indoor team after playing two seasons at the College of Southern Idaho. The rising junior outside hitter played four years for the Latvian National Team before coming to the U.S., and was an essential member of her CSI team that went 33-1 in 2012.
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas, has signed Julia Topor, a 6'2" all-around player from Bogota, N.J. At Bogota High School where she helped her volleyball team secure three state championships, Topor also competed in track and field. With her club team, USANY, she has played in Canada, the Dominican Republic, and at the JVA World Championships.
Samantha Staker of Taylorsville, Utah, has left BYU to play her sophomore season at Weber State in Ogden, Utah. The 6'1" outside hitter/setter was a four-time All-State selection while at Taylorsville High School where the team earned third-place in the state tournament her senior year.
Hawaii hit the jackpot with Larry Tuileta. The rising high school senior verbally committed to play volleyball and football for the Warriors in 2014. Tuileta has been the starting quarterback for Punahou High School since he was a sophomore and has been playing volleyball on the beach since he was five, thanks to growing up in a family devoted to the sport.
The first-ever sand volleyball team at the University of Arizona will welcome twins McKenna and Madison Witt to their 2014 roster. Graduates of Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale, Ariz., Madison and McKenna led their high school to two consecutive third-place finishes in the state tournament. They are also experienced beach players, and Arizona coach Steve Walker said he expects the twins to be partners in their first season playing for the Wildcats.
Originally published in August 2013